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As Buster Olney of ESPN writes (subscription required), the Philadelphia Phillies "are willing to consider trades" for left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.
Both starters should attract plenty of interest, but they also come with extremely high price tags. The Phillies owe Hamels $112 million over the next five seasons plus a $24 million vesting option for 2019. The club is still on the hook for $50 million over the next two years for Lee with a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016.
As Jayson Stark of ESPN tweets, the Phillies are not interested in including any cash in a potential deal, and the club would only pull the trigger in exchange for a "huge return." As Stark notes, that makes any trade "unlikely."
Still, one of the Phillies aces could certainly be on the move to a big-market club in desperate need of starters. The New York Yankees fit the bill. Last month, GM Brian Cashman told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he was looking to add "400 innings" to the team's rotation.
The addition of Hamels would go a long way in bridging that gap. As for Lee, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times sees the Dodgers as a potential fit. Shaikin points out that the club was in on Lee back in 2011 and wonders if the veteran would be a "better fit" than David Price, as Lee would cost less in terms of prospects.
Ultimately, the Phillies will face a huge challenge in trying to unload either of these talented left-handers. However, based on the exorbitant contracts that free-agent starters are landing so far, a deal could just happen.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.